In the world of computers all information is transferred and stored as a series of binary numbers, utilizing only two digits. This simple but powerful system allows for only two states- zero and one.
In the world of religious thought many of us have been introduced to a binary theology. The stated reality is that the humanity divides into two distinct groups, the lost and the saved. Supposedly, everyone starts out lost; and some, after taking the proper steps, move into the ranks of the saved. Whatever the details, there are only two possible spiritual states, saved and lost. There is no in between. Such reasoning leads logically to what I call the “salvation moment”, the instant in time when a particular individual’s spiritual state changes. Since there are only two possible discrete states, the change between states must be instantaneous. There can be no gradual transition from one state to the other. Such a theological understanding inevitably raises the question of what action or event marks the “salvation moment”.
In a slight variant, some might suggest that babies are saved (or maybe safe) until the age of accountability and then become lost until they achieve a “salvation moment”. In this understanding, you introduce a salvation moment and a lost moment, both of which beg for definition and clarification.
Even though many understand the Bible as the procedure manual which correctly leads to a “salvation moment”, much disagreement about the procedure has dominated Christendom for the past 2000 years. The inherent confusion in this binary theology has led many people to forsake religion all together.
While the binary system has been powerful within the information age, the binary theological system has been a disaster. It has separated mankind into two groups all right, the guilt-ridden and the self-righteous. Some of us, depending on our immediate emotional state, fluctuate in our mind between these two groups. None of this leads to the peace, joy, and abundant life promised by Christ.